10 things to do after installing Pop!_OS

Pop!_OS COSMIC is so well packaged that it works immediately without any settings. However, if this is a fresh install, you’ll want to check off a few recommended post-installation tasks.

In this article, we list the 10 things you need to do after installing Pop!_OS to take it to stellar heights and set it up for the long haul. This list includes best practices, so don’t miss it if you’re a beginner!

1. Update and upgrade your system

apt-get update

To get the most out of your Pop!_OS desktop and to avoid being exposed to security vulnerabilities or software incompatibility, you should always check for updates and, if necessary, upgrade your system.

Recently disclosed vulnerabilities like the Dirty Pipe exploit are stark reminders of what could potentially happen if you sleep on updating your system.

Here are the steps to update your Pop!_OS desktop:

  1. Launch a terminal.
  2. Check for available updates and upgrade packages using APT:
    sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  3. To hit Enter and type “Yes” when prompted to confirm.

APT will automatically update repositories and download and install required upgrades for you.

2. Activate the Maximize button

activate the maximize button

If you’re migrating from Windows, macOS, or even another Linux distribution, say Ubuntu, you must have already figured out a tiny but noticeable difference between them and Pop! _BONE.


For unknown reasons, Pop!_OS windows, by default, do not have a Maximize button on the title bar. While not intimidating, it can still be difficult to settle into after getting used to having three title bar buttons.

Here’s how to enable the Maximize button on the title bar in Pop!_OS:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to the Office setting.
  3. Scroll down and under Window commandsyou will find the option to enable or disable the title bar buttons.

3. Configure system restore points

timeshift app for linux

A crucial “best practice” that beginners often overlook is to create backups of their system. Pop!_OS is a fairly stable distro that won’t give you any problems. But with Linux, all it takes is one misconfiguration to bring your whole system down.

Most often, these mishaps are introduced into your system through incompatible packages or even by yourself while modifying system files.

To ensure that you can quickly roll back whenever your system crashes, you can use utilities such as Timeshift to create automated, scheduled snapshots of Pop!_OS.

If you need, you can choose from one of the best file backup apps for Linux.

4. Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

For VirtualBox installations of Pop!_OS, the VirtualBox Guest Additions are a must-have addition to streamline your virtualized Linux experience. It is a collection of device drivers and software that facilitates tighter integration between guest and host.

Installing the add-on unlocks features like bi-directional drag and drop and shared clipboard. It also opens up an array of display resolutions for the guest box. You can find a full list of features in the official documentation.

Follow these steps to install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Pop!_OS:

  1. Install VirtualBox Guest Extensions on the host system.
  2. Launch the Pop!_OS virtual machine.
  3. Under the Devices tab, click Insert Guest Additions CD Image.
  4. Click on Course and wait for the process to complete.
  5. Restart your virtual machine and the changes should take effect.

To download: VirtualBox guest extensions (free)

In Pop!_OS, proprietary media formats such as MP3, DVD decoder and fonts are not included by default. However, Pop!_OS offers a package that installs all available proprietary media codecs and fonts, including the Microsoft TrueType font.

Here are the steps to install Microsoft fonts and media codecs on Pop!_OS:

  1. Launch a terminal and install the “ubuntu-restricted-extras” package using APT.
    sudo apt install ubuntu-restricted-extras
  2. To hit Enter and type “Yes” when prompted for permission.

APT will download and install all media codecs and fonts. However, you may need to agree to the terms and conditions of the EULA to install Microsoft fonts.

install fonts on linux

If you see a pop-up on your screen similar to this image, follow these steps:

  1. hurry Tongue on your keyboard.
  2. Okay will now be highlighted.
  3. hurry Enter to proceed with the installation.

6. Enable Snap Support

Pop!_OS supports Flatpak and DEB packages. To install and run snap packages on your Pop!_OS machine, you will need to manually install and configure the Snap daemon or snapd service.

To enable snap support in Pop!_OS, enter the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install snapd

Once the download is complete, restart your system. You should now be able to install and use snap packages.

To test if everything is in order, you can run this command:

snap install hello-world && hello-world

If the output returns “Hello World!”, you are good to go.

7. Theme Your Desktop with GNOME Tweaks

The default Pop!_OS theme is as good as it gets. But why not personalize it and go even further? Since Pop!_OS features a refreshed iteration of the GNOME desktop environment, you can customize it to your liking by changing themes and adding extensions with the handy GNOME Tweaks tool.

To help you get started, here’s a guide on how to theme Pop! _OS with GNOME Tweaks and a list of the best GNOME shell extensions.

8. Play with configurations

Before the advent of Pop!_OS COSMIC, you had to go through the hassle of installing extensions and add-ons to make basic changes to your system, for example, modifying or customizing the dock, changing the palette of colors etc Now you can do much more without adding external plugins.

You can change your dock, change color scheme, change window and title bar, etc. directly from the settings. Linux gives you a free hand for customization. Be sure to explore the configurations and modify your Pop!_OS desktop to your liking.

9. Explore Pop!_Shop

popshop in pop!_os

A standard Pop!_OS installation is free of any bloatware. While it may seem sterile, it’s intentional since Pop! _OS comes with the motive of keeping the desktop clean and minimal.

If you want to add applications to your system, you can use Pop!_Shop. It is the flagship software center of Pop!_OS which offers a wide range of applications to choose from in Flatpak or DEB package format.

It features its own recommendation page, Pop!_Picks. In this section you will find an array of applications for developers and scientists. After all, Pop!_OS is for STEM practices.

10. Install Google Chrome

You’ll find Firefox installed as the default browser on most Linux distributions, and Pop!_OS is no stranger to that. However, if you are a long-time user of Google Chrome, it is only natural that you prefer it over Firefox.

Although you can’t find it on the Pop!_Shop, you can still manually install Chrome through the Pop!_OS Debian package installer, Eddy.

First, you will need to download the Chrome DEB package from the official site. Once downloaded, right click on the file and click Open with Eddy to install it.

To download:Google Chrome

Getting the most out of your Linux desktop

With Linux, there’s no end to improving your desktop experience with a few hacks and tweaks. Now that you know everything you need to do after installing Pop!_OS, you should be able to optimize its performance and functionality.

It’s important to remember that no matter what distro you use, you need to make sure you configure yourself after installing it.

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About the Author

Margie D. Carlisle